Evening Express

EXCLUSIVE: Aberdeen’s rising star Ferguson on first-team football and THAT goal against Burnley in Europa League qualifier

Burnley's Lewis Ferguson scores his sides first goal of the game making the score 1-1 during the UEFA Europa League, second qualifying round, second leg match at Turf Moor, Burnley.

Lewis Ferguson says his aim was to go straight into the Aberdeen first team after joining the club.

But he has revealed his wonder goal against Burnley in only his second game for the Dons did surprise him.

The midfielder joined the Reds this summer from Hamilton Accies, after signing a pre-contract in May.

After the 19-year-old arrived at Pittodrie many thought he may be a prospect for the future. But Dons boss Derek McInnes insisted he was someone who could go into his first team. And that is what has happened with Ferguson starting every Aberdeen game so far this season.

Ferguson announced himself with the Reds by netting a sensational overhead kick against Burnley in the second leg of the Europa League second qualifying round tie. His screamer at Turf Moor levelled the match and the tie on aggregate, before the Reds were defeated after extra-time.

Ferguson, speaking to the Evening Express in his first interview since joining Aberdeen, believed he could go straight into the first team, despite his youth. but he said his first goal for the club was a surprise.

He said: “I believed I could go into the team but I don’t think a lot of other people believed I could. When I was speaking to people when I was joining they were saying it might take a few months to get in and to be patient.

“But I believed I could play and the first thing in my mind when I got here was to get in the starting 11 and play every week. Thankfully, so far I’ve managed to do that.”

Aberdeen FC’s Lewis Ferguson.
Picture by Chris Sumner

On the overhead kick, he added: “It was weird because I never thought I would try an overhead kick in a game.

“I’ve done a few with my pals when I’ve been messing about and I’ve tried it on the training ground but I never thought I would try one in a game and I was as surprised as everyone else.

“I can’t really remember much about it. I remember the ball being in the air and from then on it was a blur.

“I was surprised, it just came from instinct. I can remember the ball coming over and I think Scott McKenna was in a better position and I could have set him up but I went for it and thankfully it went in.

“It was good to settle me in and the atmosphere that night from our fans was unbelievable – and it was great at Pittodrie as well.

“It gave me goosebumps. usually I don’t get fazed by fans or whatever but it mattered when I was on the pitch and it was so loud that it gave me goosebumps.”

Ferguson, who is line to start in this afternoon’s Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at Pittodrie, says the chance to play in Europe and compete for trophies with Aberdeen was a big factor in his decision to come to the club.

The way McInnes talked about the club also helped to convince him Pittodrie was the perfect place for him.

Ferguson said: “It’s a big club. playing in Europe was a massive thing, it was really exciting.

“Playing at the top end of the league was another factor. I was at Accies and surviving was success at Accies, and I didn’t mind that. But coming here it’s winning trophies that is success and I felt that was a big move for me.

“Playing at the top end of the league, winning and trying to get trophies and pushing teams like Celtic was a big attraction for me.

“I think we will be challenging the likes of Celtic, Rangers and Hibs as well, they are a top side and we saw that last week.

“Those are the type of teams we will be pushing, we want to be up at the top end of the league.

“Another thing that convinced me was the way the gaffer spoke to me.

“He spoke very well and made me want to come, he was very positive. He was very good at selling the club to me.”

The Reds take on Killie today in their last match before next week’s international break. In three Premiership fixtures against Rangers, Dundee and Hibs they have picked up five points.

Ferguson doesn’t expect an easy game against Steve Clarke’s team but hopes they can produce a similar display to their last home game – the 4-0 trouncing of St Mirren in the League Cup a fortnight ago.

He said of Killie: “They’re a good side. They’re compact, hard to break down, good defensively and they’re dogged.

“If we play the way we did against St Mirren, where we had a freedom and attacked from the first minute, and move the ball like we did that day, if we take that into this game we’ve got a real chance.

“It’s been a positive start to the season. In both games against Burnley I thought we were outstanding.

“Then, going into the game against Rangers, it was tough because we were nowhere near our best but still managed to get a point against one of the teams we’ll be challenging this year.

“That says a lot about the team, that when we were nowhere near our best we still managed to get a point and a result.”